How to Keep a Natural Looking Tan Through Winter

Unless you live somewhere tropical, winter usually means dry, chapped skin and zero tan lines. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with fair skin, some people just feel more confident when they have a golden glow. We have the perfect sunless tan routine to get you through winter, and not only can you do it in just a few hours, it doesn’t involve unsafe tanning beds! We’re sharing our favorite way to get a natural, olive toned tan using Loving Tan’s 2 Hour Express Tanning Mousse. Read on to learn all of our tips and tricks on how to get a beautiful tan and how to maintain it during these cold winter months.

Although we may feel more attractive with bronzed, glowy skin, tanning leads to damaged skin, premature aging, wrinkles, sun spots, and skin cancer — there is absolutely nothing attractive about that.

“As many as 90% of melanomas are estimated to be caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure. This includes UV exposure from the sun and from artificial sources, such as tanning beds. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies tanning beds and tanning lamps into its highest cancer risk category – carcinogenic to humans, the same category as other hazardous substances such as plutonium and certain types of radium.

Numerous individual studies, including an analysis of several studies combined (meta-analyses), have consistently shown that indoor tanning increases the risk of developing all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma.”

Since tanning beds are considered unsafe, self tanning lotions are the way to go. Follow these steps to achieve a perfectly golden, natural looking tan using Loving Tan’s 2 Hour Express Tanning Mousse.

Prep Your Skin

Prepping your skin might be the most important step to achieving a beautiful tan. How you care for your skin before applying the product will ensure you have the perfect canvas to apply your tan.


Smooth skin is the first step to a natural, even looking tan. Exfoliating will ensure you get rid of any dead skin, leaving you with beautifully soft and smooth skin — perfect for applying a tanning mousse. Taking a nice, warm shower will allow your skin to soften and be easily removed. Exfoliate with a damp Tan Removing & Skin Polishing Glove using gentle, circular motions to go over anywhere you will be applying tanner. Start with the black side of the glove, which gives a deeper exfoliation. Finish with the pink side of the glove, which gives a lighter exfoliation and will buff your skin smooth. There are two levels of exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and leave you with silky skin. This is also the time when you’re going to want to shave, using a sharp razor to prevent razor burn.

Loving Tan has a generous offer just for our fabulous Daily Mom readers! Just add an exfoliating glove (a $30 value) to any mousse order and your glove is free when you use the code “dailymom“!


Use a body gel or soap that cleanses while nourishing the skin. You want your skin to be clean, but you also don’t want to dry it out. Look for something gentle like Dove to soap yourself up with, then rinse off. When you’re squeaky clean, pat yourself dry with a towel and wait 10 minutes until you’re 100% dry.


The tanner will cling to any dry patches or folds in the skin, so you want to make sure you moisturize these areas using an oil-free lotion like Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Sometimes lotions that contain oils will cause the self tanner to apply streaky and patchy. Pay special attention to the tops of your toes, your feet, ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, hands, and knuckles. The tanning mousse tends to accumulate in wrinkles and may become too dark. Applying lotion will help dilute the tanning mousse and prevent an unnatural looking tan in those areas.

Apply Your Tanner

When applying your tanner, keep these things in mind and you will have the gorgeous, natural looking glow you’ve always wanted.

Work your way up

First things first. Be sure you’re wearing loose clothes that you don’t care too much about, as the tanning mousse may get on your clothes. Start from the bottom and work your way up — you’re going to have to bend to reach your feet and legs, and even though the tanner absorbs quickly, you’re better off not bending where you’ve just applied tanner. Starting at your feet will allow you to move however you need to in order to get those harder to reach places.


Using the applicator mitt, pump some mousse and rub into your skin in circular motions, massaging the mousse into the skin. Since the mousse is colored, it allows you to see where you are applying it and how much is being applied to the skin. Be sure to blend at your wrists and feet, so it’s a smooth and seamless transition. The mitt is super soft and gives a beautiful, even application, making it easy to buff and blend everything in. If you choose to apply it to your face, you can use a synthetic makeup brush to blend it in. (Synthetic hairs will not steal your product by absorbing it like natural hairs will.) Some people exfoliate their face daily, in which case you aren’t going to want to tan your face. Instead, wear a tinted moisturizer or foundation in a shade that matches your tanned skin. 

Tip: Apply lightly to your hands and feet so they don’t get too dark. Keep your hand flat, as opposed to bending your fingers. This will keep your knuckles from getting too dark.

Rinse Off

Avoid water or sweating for the first two hours while your tan develops. After the two hours, you can shower using a gentle soap, washing yourself with your hands instead of a loofah, washcloth, or anything that will exfoliate you. Although you can shower after two hours, keep in mind that the tan will continue to develop for up to six hours so you’ll still want to avoid the beach, sweat, or the pool.

How to Maintain Your Tan

In order to maintain your tan, you’re going to want to keep a few things in mind. Following these steps will extend the life of your tan and keep your skin looking its best.

Moisturize often

Dry skin will shorten the life of your tan because it sloughs off, bringing your tan with it. Keeping your skin moisturized will ensure that your skin will stay nourished and keep your tan from breaking up or getting patchy. Be sure to apply lotion daily (specifically after showering) especially if you are in a cold climate where your skin tends to get dehydrated quickly.

Use Gentle Products

Be sure to avoid anything with oil or perfume, as this will break up your tan. You should also avoid exfoliating your body until you are ready to remove your tan. Instead of using a loofah, wash your body with your hands so you get a gentle cleanse.

How to Remove Your Tan

Once your tan starts to get patchy or you can tell your skin needs a redo, it’s time to start the cycle again. Take a hot shower, allowing your skin to get soft, and exfoliate using the Loving Tan Exfoliating Mitt — the same as you did when you were preparing for your tan. Start with the black side and finish with the pink until your tan is completely gone. Start the entire process again and you’ll have a natural looking tan in no time — 2 hours, to be exact!

The best part about this sunless tan routine is the results are immediate and you can customize your tan by choosing a color with your natural skin tone in mind. If you want a deeper, more intense tan you can always do another application until you are satisfied with your tan. We’re sure you’re going to love the results from Loving Tan as much as we do; try it out and see for yourself.

About Loving Tan

Loving Tan began in Queensland, Australia and was so successful it expanded to the US and is now available internationally. Loving Tan is held in high regard in the world of self tanning products. Known for their high quality, hydrating ingredients, Loving Tan proves time and time again to deliver beautiful results. If you look at their social media accounts, you will find endless proof that Loving Tan not only gives a deep, natural looking tan, but people are in love with their products. Loving Tan is widely known in the YouTube beauty community — successful beauty influencers such as Jaclyn Hill and Lauren Curtis, among many others, boast of Loving Tan’s entire line of products. From their tanning mousses to lotions and body makeup, there is something for every tanning lover!

For more information on taking care of your skin during the winter, be sure to check out our post on How to Beat Winter Weather Skin.

Photo credits: Kristen Love

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Kristen Love

Kristen Love resides in the Chicago area with her husband & two kiddos-- an energetic toddler who will do anything to make his sweet, baby sister giggle (which doesn't take much). She is the author behind The Love Notes Blog, a YouTube beauty vlogger, an extreme DIY’er, obsessive chick flick watcher, lover of all things pretty & her spirit animal is Li’l Sebastian. Connect with her! Blog: | Instagram: @thelovenotes | Facebook: The Love Notes Blog | Twitter: @lovenotesblog | Snapchat: @thelovenotes | YouTube:

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